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Govt to challenge HC stay order

The High Court had earlier stayed the termination move of the AIIMS chief.

india Updated: Jul 13, 2006 03:24 IST

The Centre has reportedly readied its appeal to challenge the stay order granted by a single judge of the Delhi High Court against the government's move to terminate the services of AIIMS Director P Venugopal.

Venugopal is locked in a public spat with Union Health Minister A Ramadoss.

The appeal, which is being given finishing touches by Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, is expected to come up before a Division Bench of the High Court in the next two or three days, official sources said.

According to official sources, one of the main ground challenged in the appeal is the maintainability of the stay order granted by the single Judge.

It was sought to be contended in the appeal that the Single Judge's action was "preposterous" as no order was passed terminating the services of Venugopal.

The "cause of action" would arise only when an action has been completed, but since the resolution seeking Venugopal's termination was not ratified by the Assurances Committee of the Cabinet, the High Court had erred in granting a stay or interfering with the dispute, it was being stated in the plea.

Official sources indicated that the appeal would also harp on Venugpal's perceived inability to curb the 17-day strike by AIIMS doctors during the anti-reservation stir to substantiate the government's charge that the director failed to discharge his duties efficiently.

The director's alleged anti-government remarks besides the exodus of some senior medical faculty members from the premier institute are being cited in the appeal to justify the aborted termination move.

Justice Anil Kumar had on Friday last stayed the termination move of the director on the ground that the intended action was "vitiated in law" and devoid of the principles of natural justice.